Northumberland soldier on his bike for new season
A Northumberland soldier is stepping up a gear as he competes for the British Army in cycling – just three years after taking up the sport.
Lance Corporal Connah Towers returned from a cycling training camp in South Africa and started his first race season over the Easter weekend.
The 24-year-old is serving with The Royal Tank Regiment in Tidworth, Wiltshire.
Connah, who has served since 2011, said: “Before I got involved in cycling, I was never interested in pushing my goals, but now I’m constantly looking to the next level, pushing my limits. The Army has completely changed my outlook on achievement.”
The Challenger Tank crewman spent three weeks in the Cape Town region, training alongside fellow soldiers from the Royal Armoured Corps, and even gained some valuable advice from two British Olympians.
He said: “We spotted road and track star Elinor Barker and former track champion Callum Skinner in a café and were curious what they were doing there. After a chat the team was invited to join them on a ride – a 100-mile cycle with elite cyclists is not your everyday training session.
“Callum is now an ambassador for the sport and told me ‘to enjoy it for what it is’.”
Connah, who grew up in Ashington and attended the local high school, is fully prepared for his national level road season.
He said: “Whatever level of ability, a career in the Army will give you the chance to discover your sporting passions. If you love sport, there’s no better place to be.”
He added: “You’ll get the chance to train with the very best coaches and, like me, get opportunities to train abroad.”